Basel, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Swiss icon and five-time champion Roger Federer moved into the quarterfinals, while reigning champion Juan Martin del Potro posted an opening-round victory Wednesday at the $1.955 million Swiss Indoors tennis event.
The top-seeded former U.S. Open champion del Potro handled Swiss wild card Henri Laaksonen 6-4, 6-4 at St. Jakobshalle, where the Argentine upset Federer in last year's Basel finale.
The formidable Argentine del Potro's second-round opponent will be former Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis, who was a Basel runner-up back in 2005.
The third-seeded former world No. 1 Federer came from behind to win his second-round match against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in 1 hour, 52 minutes on Day 3.
Federer is a nine-time Basel finalist, including the five titles. The current world No. 8 is battling for a spot in the eight-player season-ending ATP World Tour Finals next month.
Meanwhile, Michael Llodra ousted fifth-seeded fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2 in an opening-round affair, and a second-round upset came when Croat Ivan Dodig humbled sixth-seeded 2011 Basel runner-up Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-2. The U.S. Open semifinalist and world No. 9 Gasquet is still battling for a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals. He was a titlist last week in Moscow.
In some other first-round play, Canadian Vasek Pospisil vaulted past last week's Vienna runner-up Robin Haase 6-4, 6-4 and Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu got past American fellow qualifier Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-5.
The 2013 Basel winner will earn $475,000.